SANDF rifle linked to cash-in-transit heist, Minister Mapisa-Nqakula reveals

Johannesburg- Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa Nqakula revealed that some South African National Defence Force (SANDF) officials fall foul of the law by losing or stealing official firearms and ammunition, and at least one of these weapons has ended up being used during a cash-in-transit heist.

The information was revealed after a parliamentary question by FF Plus leader and MP Pieter Groenewald was posed to the minister and the response surprised the MP Groenewald.

Groenewald said he wanted more clarity on details she previously gave him in 2017, on how many SANDF weapons and ammunition were lost and/or stolen between April 2015 and September 2017.

Nqakula response in 2017 it emerged that several pistols and revolvers were lost or stolen in the above period, including over 14 000 stolen ammunition rounds, two exercise hand grenades and 253 pencil flares.

Mapisa-Nqakula appearance in parliament revealed much more information, she said that an R4 rifle was recovered during a cash-in-transit heist, a pistol and two R4 rifles were later recovered at a suspect’s house.

But she didn’t include more details on when and where the weapons were recovered.

It did not stop there, five theft cases involving SANDF firearms and ammunition were in due process before courts for a decision and trial.

An update was given, in two cases that have been finalised; one person was found guilty and sentenced to 18 months in jail or a R30 000 fine, and the other a SANDF member was discharged from the defence force.

Groenewald then asked what is SANDF preventative measures in the defence department were taking to stop these crimes from happening.

Ministers response, “During the security cluster meeting, a decision was made that Counter Intelligence must conduct regular inspection on firearms and a guard duty system must be in place.”

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